JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
One day, one decision, and one family. Together, husband, wife, and son raised their right hands and took an oath that changed the course of their lives.
The Jimenez family was running a successful business and enjoying life to its fullest when their world came to a standstill.
“We were celebrating the fact that I was able to launch our company. We went on a little vacation, enjoyed ourselves, and we were just extremely grateful and thankful for everything that life had given us up until that point, we were finally on the right track,” said Airman Basic Richard Jimenez. “When the pandemic hit in 2020, the world stopped and once the world stopped my business stopped with it.”
Reality set in for husband Richard, wife Jenna, and son Amarion Jimenez, as they realized that business would not continue for them as usual.
But when the going got tough, the Jimenez family didn’t shy away. Resiliency was key.
“Our story is survival,” Richard said.
When Jenna decided she wanted to join the military, Richard thought it was just a random idea until he did his own research. The Jimenez household quickly realized that this might be a start to something bigger.
“It was exactly what we were looking for. We wanted to get out of the area. We wanted to make sure that we would never have to worry about health insurance and stability ever again, a safe place to stay or a support system, family, and the list goes on,” Richard said. “I was just ready; I knew that if we were going to do this it had to be together.”
They staggered their entry dates so that Richard and Jenna’s 4-year-old daughter would have someone to care for her. After Jenna and Amarion completed Basic Military Training, it was Richard’s turn to start his journey. This was a necessary sacrifice for a better future for the family.
“The military gave us the tools to persevere. Basic training was quite the experience,” Richard said. “It really tested me, but at the same time I was able to prove to myself what I was capable of.”
After successfully completing BMT, Richard went on to the 344th Training Squadron to train as a contracting specialist and graduated Sept. 22.
“For me, it's a natural fit. I've always loved business and I'm able to excel at that because that's what I enjoy doing,” he stated.
Fortitude, heart, and adaptability allowed Richard and his family to change course in the service of their nation.
For those facing uncertainty or something new, Richard shared “It’s important to trust your cloth, meaning the fabric of who you are. You're cut out to fit more shapes than you know. You're smarter, stronger and faster than you think. Never be afraid to reassess and resize yourself. Remain fit to fight.”
Editor's note: The Jimenez family was interviewed last year shortly after enlisting in the Air Force. Read that story at https://www.recruiting.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2405355/air-force-gives-family-fresh-start-after-covid-crushes-private-business/.